Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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Floored by a self-esteem masterclass

Never mind that he’s lying in the flat’s main thoroughfare and that this place is busier than Beyoncé’s florist (congratulations on twins and all that, but the whole motherhood/fecundity/madonna/blue veils/blooming flowers iconography thing looks like hard work. Bring back Cyndi Lauper and having fun). Biggie is oblivious to the threat that one of his homies might squash him and ruin his day.

I think he knows a thing or two about self-esteem, being happy in his fur, something Eldest and I have been musing on in the kitchen.

“I think everyone has to work on their self-esteem,” he says. “I did.”

“Did you?” I say, feeling immediate mother guilt. I had no idea.

“Yeah, I used to feel I always had to be achieving things, writing songs and practising guitar, but if self-esteem is about achievement, you’ll always be failing…”

“Yeah,” I say. “When I’m not working I always think I should be washing, shopping, cleaning… or going for a swim or a walk, or catching up on self-improving Ted talks or Facebooking, or phoning people or...”

“ ‘ken,” he says.

“So what did you do to achieve this nirvana of no self-doubt?” I say.

“Worked on accepting the way things are, and the way I am,” he says.

“Em, how did you do that exactly?”

“Read up on it, practised techniques, developed skills, changed my mind set. Now I can do nothing and feel quite happy about it.”

He disappears, no doubt to enjoy the moment, so I lie down in the hall next to the cat to practise self-esteem.

Biggie opens an eye, stretches, then walks slowly and deliberately right over me. n